2022 fifa world cup

England 3-0 Senegal: Bellingham sparkles, eight World Cup scorers, Henderson sets the tone – The Athletic

Gorolive.com – World Cup Videos & Highlights

England eased into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win against Senegal and, not for the first time in Qatar, Jude Bellingham was the star.

The teenage midfielder set up Jordan Henderson’s opening goal after a brilliant run beyond the Senegal defence and played a key role in the second, scored by Harry Kane.

Bukayo Saka then made it 3-0 with nearly an hour gone and England were able to coast home from there.

Dominic Fifield, Simon Johnson and Liam Tharme analyse the key talking points from the Al Bayt Stadium…

Brilliant Bellingham

Watching the replay of England’s second goal, my instinctive reaction was how ‘vintage’ the performance by Jude Bellingham had been in the first half — is that applicable to a 19-year-old playing at their first World Cup?

But as the entire world knows, Bellingham is not like other 19-year-olds. He became the second teenager ever to start for England in a World Cup knockout game — after an 18-year-old Michael Owen did so against Argentina in 1998.

He did not need this tournament to put himself in the shop window having starred for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League, but the completeness of his midfield performances for England at this World Cup must be tempting some of Europe’s elite to make a move in January.


Bellingham was instrumental in both goals, running beyond the defence to cut the ball back for Henderson to open the scoring. He becomes the youngest England player to assist a World Cup goal on Opta records (dating back to 1996).

He did not assist the second here but he certainly made the goal, pouncing on a miscontrol on the edge of the England penalty area, driving into the opposition half and riding tackles on his way through before slotting in Foden to tee up Kane.

2022 fifa world cup

In the first half he had the highest pass accuracy (95.8 per cent) of any England player, completing all bar one of his 24 passes. Bellingham was involved in the most duels (11) and won almost three-quarters of them, relentlessly counter-pressing when possession was lost and providing a consistent threat running beyond the defence.

Liam Tharme

Breaking down the first goal

Gareth Southgate’s side appeared to have stalled six minutes from the break, struggling with the Senegalese press, with the contest still goalless when the first properly slick exchange down their left flank prised their opponents — and the tie — open at last.

Jordan Pickford plays a goal kick short to John Stones, who squares the ball to Harry Maguire at his side. Even as the centre-back feeds the ball up the line to Luke Shaw, there is very little urgency to the passage of play with the tempo still sluggish. The left-back pushes it on further down the line, where real impetus is provided by Phil Foden’s first-time flick inside to Kane.

2022 fifa world cup

The captain gathers and is granted slightly too much space by Kalidou Koulibaly, backing off as he sensed danger. That allows Kane to turn and assess his options while, on his inside, Bellingham bursts away from Pathe Ciss, momentarily, if critically, distracted as he glances back at the striker.

2022 fifa world cup

Kane has the time and space to guide a perfectly weighted pass inside Koulibaly and the retreating Ciss for Bellingham to gather in space unpatrolled by the Senegal back line. Unnoticed in the centre, Henderson begins his own run from the centre circle.

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Abdou Diallo belatedly shuttles across in an attempt to force Bellingham wide, but the midfielder has built up a head of steam with the Senegalese back line, for the first time all evening, suddenly ramshackle and disorganised.

2022 fifa world cup

Henderson is sprinting up-field between Ismail Jakobs and away from Nampalys Mendy, but Bellingham has spied his team-mate. He delivers the cross perfectly and waits for the most experienced member of England’s side to connect.

2022 fifa world cup

The left-footed finish is angled down low to Edouard Mendy’s left and cannot be stopped. Henderson’s third international goal across 73 caps has thrust England ahead before Jakobs can slide in to intercept.

2022 fifa world cup

For the first time, England had summoned some properly upbeat tempo to their play. Senegal simply could not cope.

Dominic Fifield

England: the team that scores from everywhere

There was a period towards the end of the first half when England, ahead through Henderson’s well-worked goal, boasted seven different scorers at the World Cup — they have never had that many at a major finals before — and Kane, the Golden Boot winner four years ago, was not among them. The captain’s crisp finish three minutes into added time at the end of the period soon put that right.

Southgate is so often maligned as being overly conservative, a straitjacket for this vibrant team, and yet his side are the leading scorers at this tournament to date (with 12 in four games) and boast a threat from all over the pitch.

Their wingers and midfielders maraud forward at will, as typified by the contributions of Bellingham, Henderson — a 32-year-old brimming with energy and intent, and timing those late bursts into the box to perfection — and even Declan Rice against Senegal.

Kane is as much a creator as a scorer, a nuisance dropping in as a No 10. The quality of options twiddling their thumbs on the bench is perhaps the deepest in Qatar. They have width, invention and subtlety in the delivery. Their centre-halves have yet to register, but ignore their threat at set pieces at your peril, France.

2022 fifa world cup

On the basis that this team’s perceived weakness was its back line, they can rely on their forward-thinkers to cause problems at the other end. The French will be no exception in that regard. They are a side brimming with confidence and intent who, when given a hint of time and space, will run riot.

Dominic Fifield

Evaluating Southgate’s approach to the game

Southgate has famously switched between a back three and back four between the group stages and knockouts at previous major tournaments — but the line-up against Senegal suggested England would be sticking with the 4-3-3 that had served them well in the groups.

With the ball, England’s approach was varied as they had a compact 4-4-2 Senegal mid-block to break down. Southgate pushed Shaw further up and played Kyle Walker deeper and narrower in a functional Yorkshire back three alongside John Stones (central centre-back) and Harry Maguire (left centre-back).

Perhaps they knew Senegal’s vulnerabilities in defending wide areas, perhaps it was with one eye on France and defending against Kylian Mbappe.

England’s outside centre-backs took risks with the ball, looking to step out and ambitiously break lines playing into Foden (left) and Saka (right), though the approach play was visibly left-side heavy. 

2022 fifa world cup

For the first 30 minutes, this caused more problems than it made solutions, with England turning the ball over and having to counter-press and foul to prevent Senegal counter-attacks.

And then it all clicked into gear — Shaw found Foden on the wing and the 22-year-old’s pass inside to Kane allowed Bellingham to make the third-man run beyond the defence and cut the ball back for Henderson.

Liam Tharme

England get away with being sloppy in possession… this time

It ended up being a stroll for England but it could have been a different story at half-time if Senegal had made the most of their chances in the first 30 minutes.

Before England took control with two fine goals, they had looked anything but convincing.

Senegal had three opportunities and they all had the same thing in common — England giving the ball away carelessly and being caught out of shape.

Southgate’s side had an early warning when Foden failed to find Shaw and it led to Boulaye Dia running at Stones and Maguire. Neither centre-back looked comfortable against the forward but just about stopped him from getting a clean shot on goal.

Maguire’s attempt to pass from deep in the 23rd minute was easily cut out. A combination of Stones’ leg and arm stopped Dia from volleying a cross in, while Ismaila Sarr couldn’t convert the rebound.  

Saka was another offender, losing it in the final third and Jordan Pickford had to be at his best to stop Dia’s shot.

2022 fifa world cup

(Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

There were other examples that Senegal didn’t make the most of and all along you couldn’t help but think that France, in particular Mbappe, won’t be as generous in the quarter-final.

If England are to progress any further, they must tighten up this area of the game because you can be sure France will have spotted it as a weakness.

Simon Johnson

Henderson helped set the tone

When England were finding this game a little tougher than they would have liked, it was the oldest player in their line-up who rose to the challenge.

Henderson’s presence in the team divides opinion among supporters. You just have to go back to the negative reaction provoked by his introduction as a second-half substitute against the U.S. to get an indication of that.

But he is one of the players Southgate trusts most, a veteran from England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 as well as the European Championship final last year.

As England laboured, it was his voice you could hear shouting to his team-mates over the upbeat sound of the Senegal band in the stand.

The 32-year-old seemed to cover a lot of ground. At 0-0, he was the one who led a press of the opposition, barking at Saka to follow him and the Liverpool midfielder ended up putting Senegal keeper Mendy under pressure to clear.

So in many ways, it was no surprise to see another of his runs rewarded with the opening goal. Bellingham found Henderson in the area and he stroked the ball past Mendy with his left foot.

The more predictable names in the England side took centre stage from there, but this performance was built on Henderson’s work rate and leadership. When he was substituted in the 82nd minute, barking some last-minute instructions to those nearby, he was applauded off. That spoke volumes.

Simon Johnson

(Top photo: Getty Images)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Highlights – Gorolive.com

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